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High schools honor Veterans Day with assemblies, walks, plaques and planting poppies


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BLACKFOOT — Schools across eastern Idaho honored Veterans Day with special assemblies filled with music, giving plaques to veterans, walks and placing poppies.

The Blackfoot High School student body saluted local veterans during its annual event on Thursday at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center. The event was canceled last year however due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The faculty and staff were happy to be back this year.

Blackfoot assembly
Blackfoot High School Veterans Day Assembly | Andrea Olson,

“On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students here at Blackfoot High School, I want to thank our veterans. Thank you for teaching us the important concepts of honor, courage, commitment, integrity, citizenship, and sacrifice. Without your efforts, we would not have what each of us have today. Thank you,” Blackfoot High School Principal Roger Thomas said.

The theme for this year’s assembly commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. The assembly featured musical performances by the Blackfoot High School choir, band, and orchestra.

In Idaho Falls, at Compass Academy, the student government lead the school in a paper poppy project.

“I suggested we make origami poppies because poppies are a symbol of remembrance. I’m really proud of how successful it is. I think people are having fun, which is a good thing,” said Holland Williams, a senior at Compass Academy.

All students made paper poppies and placed hundreds of them on the school’s front lawn to honor veterans.

Planted poppies at Compass Academy in Idaho Falls | Andrea Olson,

“It really shows that a lot of people care about what our veterans have done and those who are serving, those who have served and those who have lost their lives serving for this country,” said Franchesca Garcia-Poulsen, a senior at Compass Academy. “Remember to thank your veterans. I mean, I know they hear it a lot but their sacrifice means a lot. Not just what they did but also what their families did, means a lot.”

The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for our country.

friends and poppy
Holland Williams and Franchesca Garcia-Poulsen holding a poppy | Andrea Olson,

At Firth High school, 120 plaques were presented to veterans by students to thank them for their service during a school assembly. After the assembly, the school provided free lunch to the veterans that were in attendance.

“Today’s assembly was really good. I love how year after year, this community pulls together to honor those who have sacrificed so much for this country,” said Tara Butler, a senior at Firth High School. She helped organize the event along with another student Hannah Christensen for their senior project.

Firth high school
Students honor Veterans at Firth High School | Courtesy Kim Harrison
Courtesy Kim Harrison
Courtesy Kim Harrison

Eagle Rock Middle School in Idaho Falls remembered veterans with a special walk. In October, students and staff had been compiling a list of soldier names who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. The names were added to American flags that currently decorate the school.

On Thursday, history teacher Jeff Cannon was in military fatigues and walked laps on the Eagle Rock track to honor and remember each of the service members’ names that had been compiled.

“Our goal was 1,111 (names) to coincide with today’s date which is 11/11 and we hit that mark and we went over that mark and I plan on doing all the laps and if people would like to come help, please do! I’ve worked out the math and all of those laps, it’s about 278 miles. It’s basically walking from Idaho Falls to Twin Falls and back,” said Cannon in a Facebook video.

Cannon said that the event on Thursday was not about him or about Eagle Rock but about the men and women who served and recognizing their service from a grateful nation.